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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Elements of a Good Movie

How to shoot a movie so it engages the audience?
There a re a few tricks, apart from having a good theme, script and actors, you need to know which scenes to shoot how. As a director when you read the script you will be able to identify scenes that need to be shot in a particular way to engage the audience.

Any movie will have the following three kinds of shots:
  • Voyeuristic: In these kinds the director will try to convey the grandeur by use of elaborate sets and also will try to convey the experience of the character - say in The Last Emperor, the opening sequence where the little boy is made to sit on the throne, who jumps up and flaps his arms when he sees a cloth flapping in the wind (and who then walks through soldiers).
  • Vicarious: The second kind is to make the audience feel the character's emotional turmoil. This involves using POVs heavily. Care is taken to show that character thinks, weighs options and makes decision.
  • Visceral: The third kind is to put the audience right in the middle of the action. If this happens to be an action sequence as in Saving Private Ryan, then the geography of the location is established and number of characters participating with their position is established, then the audience is put right in the middle of the action by taking care to even direct the sand and gravel! This does not involve POVs but action punctuated by suspense and suspense punctuated by action.

On the whole, any movie theme should be packaged like a chase so the audience is left engaged.

Movie is a Character's (protagonist) journey (plot) towards a Goal which the character desperately wants against all odds (antagonist).

Make sure to have a singular protagonist, antagonist and a singular goal to make the movie effective.